Two Poems

Dream Spies

Dreams send intimate informants
my personal crew of spies
who tease me with bits
and pieces

of mirror.  As I lie dormant
REM sleep quivering closed eyes
theater opens:  hits
and misses

slapstick comedies that torment
suitcase falls open         goldfish
drowns in air     mother knits
burial dress

I’ve crashed a smoking room for men
only.  Am I in disguise?
I’m offered benefits
a free pass

Dreams hire an all-night doorman
for an electric door      sky-high
sliding in place.  It’s
an address

I can’t quite read     windblown form in
sand      strange gods revise
clues to infinites
tides erase.

Abel: The First Funeral

Entwine large-leafed vine,
sheath him well.  In death,
wrap with life.  Stem-sap
laves, scents.  Fresh green saves,
eases eyes, teases
memories, stories.
Braid a cord to each side.
Scale horizontal
ground to his length.  Pound
clay, sever roots.  Lay
what was, and is not,
softly down.  The rough
walls powder and fall.

Brothers are authors:
civil war’s alive.

—Charlotte Mandel, Cedar Grove, NJ